Arctic cruise vacation, Spitsbergen

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2017: 15 Jun
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Arctic cruise vacation, Spitsbergen

Environment

We work with experienced and licensed vessels to assure that all of our travelers are safe and sound. They follow international regulations of passenger vessels including, ISM, IMO and SOLAS. A variety of the vessels go beyond the requirements and are also members of responsible travel organizations such as IAATO, IGTOA, and AECO. These organizations recognize the close relationship between delicate environments and the travel industry. Many yachts also take the independent initiative to support environmental efforts, such as the cleaning of the Spitsbergen coast or contributions to local Amazonian communities.

Community

To further support and give back to the communities where we send our travelers, we have developed a grant program. Our ongoing grant program provides funding for small, grassroots projects in the countries we visit. This past year, we were able to offer $10,000 in funding to several different groups including a reforestation and home restoration project in the Andes; a Christmas fiesta at an orphanage in Costa Rica; building supplies for a school in Guatemala made out of recycled materials; funds to dig a new well for proper plumbing and irrigation at a historic Bolivia hacienda; and first-aid and hospitality training for the community-owned Secoya lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon. By traveling with us, you help support these projects.

Because we care about our community, we are very conscious of the effects an office even a small office can have on the environment. Conservation at home is as important to us as conservation in the field. Our office promotes cycling and car pooling to work - winning our city-wide commuter challenge two years running. Those in big cities might be surprised to learn that only a few items like aluminum cans are recycled by the local sanitation company. Since that's not good enough for us, we pay for a private recycling service that collects all of our paper, plastic, cardboard, and cans. All of our paper is made from 100% post-consumer material and our brochures use soy-ink - an expensive but earth friendly alternative to traditional inks. Finally, we consider a healthy workplace as important as a healthy environment. This is why our new moms bring their babies to work, everyone is invited to mid-day yoga, and healthy snacks are always on hand.

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